Every parent or grandparent has found themselves in the situation where they have to take their children with them to the grocery store.  

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For some parents, they would rather do just about anything else than to have to try to shop with their kids who they know will see a thousand things in the store they want, which tends to slow down the who experience. 

Over the weekend, my wife and I were in the grocery store, and I saw a mother with her two daughters. I saw the mother on three or four different aisles and each time the mother was trying harder to be polite to her girls, but the intensity of them pleading with their mom about this item or that item increased.  

So, it got me thinking, what tips do experts give to parents about executing the art of grocery shopping without running the risk of losing their sanity.  

The website Bright Horizons says that you need to understand that your child, especially if they’re very young, doesn’t automatically know how to act in a store setting, or the act of shopping is boring to them, so keep that in mind each time you take them with you.  

Happy parents and their small daughter buying in supermarket and looking at camera.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

First, get organized by having a shopping list prepared before you get there. This will help you not to forget anything while you’re trying to get from the entrance to the checkout. 

If you can list the items together by where you’ll find them in the store, that may be helpful also.  

Cute family doing grocery shopping together
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Secondly, time the trip to avoid a time when they are normally napping, or when they usually eat. Kids are just like us, shopping on an empty stomach makes them want everything they see.  

The timing of you trip to the store could make the whole process smoother.  

Third, talk with your child about what your expectations of them will be once you get in the store. This method allows you remind them, if they begin to act up, about the conversation and what you had told them. 

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash
Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

Fourth, be prepared. Have a spare diaper and wipes if your child is that young or maybe give them one of their favorite snacks to enjoy while you’re working through your list. 

Lastly, give your child an active role in the process. Most kids want to help you perform tasks, and if they feel a sense of responsibility or inclusion in the trip, that can help them be more invested the completing the mission. 

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The roles can range from giving them a pen or pencil and let them check off the items as you put them in your cart, or if they’re old enough to go to a different aisle without you, they can find specific items on your list while you collect others.  

My wife and I would have our granddaughter look for items as we went from one aisle to the next. Even when she was small enough to sit in the cart while we pushed it, most of the time Lexi would spend her time on the lookout for whatever product we assigned.  

This was helpful to us and her and we had only a minimal number of trips to the store where it became a challenge to navigate what we needed and getting out of the store as quickly as possible.  

Halfpoint via Getty Images

Hopefully these ideas help you to make the most of the grocery shopping experience with your kids and it is not something that you dread doing.  

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